The first console and computer strategy games were based on a mixture of tabletop games such as chess and wargaming titles. Games including Dune II, StarCraft and Warcraft III became hits, and Warcraft III in particular became the base for player mods that led to the creation of the multiplayer online battle arena format. This arena format has been hugely popular on PC, with League of Legends and DoTA 2 the two most popular games in this genre.
In 2010, video game company Kixeye launched Backyard Monsters as a Flash game on Facebook and quickly gained several million active users per month. Inspired by this, Finnish developers Supercell released Clash of Clans two years later. Clash of Clans offers both multiplayer and single-player modes and has been followed by four spin-off games.
Civilisation-building have been a common choice for strategy games, offering various settings, characters and historical periods. New Romance of Three Kingdoms – based on a 14th century historical novel which in turn refers to a 3rd century text – has grown a huge user base in China, while Rise of Kingdoms and Evony: The King’s Return have also chosen to turn to the past.
Some titles have combined elements of puzzle games, especially match-3 minigames, into the wider narrative of the game. Others are part of video game series on consoles such as the Plants vs Zombies series.
Strategy games can either be played out in real-time or with a turn-based system. Real-time strategy games prioritise quick thinking and action over the logic of turn-based games and real-time tends to be more popular among players.
The strategy genre has been steadily popular for several years, and according to Sensor Tower it could become the biggest genre by revenue if trends continue. Around a quarter of all mobile game revenue in Asia and Europe comes from strategy games.
Developers have focused on making regular updates to popular strategy games and creating spin-offs for series including Clash of Clans and Plants vs Zombies. With a relatively high per user revenue rate and consistent popularity, the genre remains profitable and successful.
We have collected data and statistics on the strategy game sub-sector. Read on below to find out more.
Key Strategy Game Statistics
- Strategy games generated $16.3 billion in 2022, making it the second most lucrative genre behind role-playing games
- Downloads of strategy games hit 1.5 billion last year, down from 1.7 billion in 2020
- Romance of Three Kingdoms earned $504 million in revenue last year while Clash of Clans made $472 million
Top Strategy Game Apps
|https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bbgame.sgksnapk.wld&hl=en&gl=US||New Romance of Three Kingdoms||The mobile version in a series of turn-based tactical wargames based on a historical Chinese text, New Romance of Three Kingdoms players battle for the Imperial Throne while developing cities and armies|
|https://www.businessofapps.com/data/clash-of-clans-statistics/||Clash of Clans||The free-to-play game is set in a fantasy world with players acting as chiefs of a village, fighting other players and expanding their resources|
|https://www.pnsofficial.com/pnsofficial/ztmslg/||Puzzles & Survival||Combining match-3 gaming and a choice of characters, Puzzles & Survival has a zombie-based narrative|
|https://rok.lilith.com/en||Rise of Kingdoms||Rise of Kingdoms offers a choice of 13 historical civilisations for players to expand and explore the world map|
|https://funplus.com/games/state-of-survival/||State of Survival: Zombie War||Zombie apocalypse-based State of Survival was launched by FunPlus in 2019|
|https://m.evony.com/||Evony: The King's Return||Evony: The King's Return is a civilisation-building game with puzzle mini games which provide resources for the empires|
|https://www.rivergame.net/en/default.html?1648441890461||Top War: Battle Game||Released at the end of 2019, Top War is a merge-to-upgrade battle game|
|https://www.ea.com/en-gb/games/plants-vs-zombies||Plants vs Zombies||Plants vs Zombies has expanded into a video game franchise with six versions for consoles and mobile devices following the success of the original desktop title in 2009|
Strategy Game App Revenue
Strategy games revenue in 2022 was significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels, growing from $11.7 billion in 2019 to $16.3 billion last year.
Strategy game app sector annual revenue 2019 to 2022 ($bn)
Strategy Game Revenue by App
Romance of Three Kingdoms topped the revenue chart in 2022 with $504 million, while Clash of Clans, Puzzles & Survival, Rise of Kingdoms and State of Survival: Zombie War all made more than $400 million.
Strategy game revenue by app 2022 ($mm)
|Romance of Three Kingdoms||504|
|Clash of Clans||472|
|Puzzles & Survival||438|
|Rise of Kingdoms||427|
|State of Survival: Zombie War||416|
|Evony: The King's Return||388|
|Top War: Battle Game||322|
|Lords Mobile: Tower Defense||251|
|Age of Origins||216|
Strategy Game App Downloads
Downloads of strategy games were boosted by changes in user behaviour during the coronavirus pandemic, but these have fallen slightly to 1.5 billion in 2022 from 1.7 billion in 2020.
Strategy game downloads 2019 to 2022 (bn)
Strategy Game Downloads by App
Merge Master: Dinosaur Monster, topped the download chart with more than 100 million downloads last year.
Strategy game downloads by app 2022 (mm)
|Merge Master: Dinosaur Monster||104|
|Lords Mobile: Kingdom Wars||58|
|Plants vs Zombies||54|
|Clash of Clans||51|
|Plants vs Zombies 2||46|
|Evony: The King's Return||45|
|Stick War: Legacy||36|
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